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Cheryl's books

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The Collected Stories
John McGahern
Middlemarch
George Eliot
Omensetter's Luck
William H. Gass
Swann's Way
Marcel Proust, Lydia Davis
A Naked Singularity (Paper)
Sergio De La Pava
The Master and Margarita
Mikhail Bulgakov, Richard Pevear, Larissa Volokhonsky
Otherwise Known as the Human Condition: Selected Essays and Reviews
Geoff Dyer
Infinite Jest
David Foster Wallace
Samuel Pepys: The Unequalled Self
Claire Tomalin
Maps and Legends
Michael Chabon
the imposter bride - Nancy Richler This is another of the shortlisted books for this year's Giller Prize. The bride in question is a Jewish woman who has fled Europe in WW2, and has eventually arrived in Montreal, to take part in an arranged marriage. As soon as her betrothed lays eyes on her, he rejects her, to his everlasting regret, because his brother steps in and does what needs to be done. But Lily Azerov is not who she claims to be, and soon after her daughter is born, she abandons her family. This story is told from multiple perspectives but mostly from that of the daughter as she grows up struggling to understand the absence of a mother, and then trying in vain to understand how a mother could leave her child. The mother leaves behind only a few enigmatic clues and a trail of stones over the years.
The writing is fluid and occasionally sparkles with lovely prose. The background story of the bride aka Lily is drip fed slowly to us, and the reasoning or excuses for this, as given by the book's characters, don't really ring true -- it just conveniently suits its role as a literary device. The story unfolds in a disappointingly predictable fashion, but in the end is all quite tidy, if not really satisfying.